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Wealth Strategies

Your Wealth and Your Taxes

Cathy Schnaubelt
November 05, 2015

When the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) was passed on January 1, 2013,people took note of the good and the not-so-good. Details of the first permanent set of estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax provisions in 12 years came with the obstacle of a 3.8% Medicare surtax for those with an adjusted gross income of $250,000 and above. The combination of the surtax with...

G2G Impact

Credit Cards: What to Know About Managing Debt and Expenses

Duncan Edwards, CFP®
November 03, 2015

Credit cards are sometimes viewed as a way to have your cake and eat it, too. Instant gratification comes when you see an item that you want and are able to purchase it without having to relinquish the funds right away. That manner of thinking makes using credit cards almost an absentminded occurrence, which can be very dangerous. The truth is that the use of credit cards can be quite...

Firm News

Atlantic Trust Sponsors ACTEC Fall 2015 Meeting

Paulina Mejia
November 03, 2015

  Atlantic Trust proudly sponsored the President’s Welcome Dinner at the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)’s recently concluded Fall 2015 meeting in Monterey, California. ACTEC President Bruce Stone and his wife, Anita, hosted, and I was joined by my colleagues Wanda Colburn, Ryan Christine Coulson, Judith Saxe and Richard Vandenberg.         ...

Firm News

Atlantic Trust Lends a Helping Hand in Houston

Bas Solleveld
October 30, 2015

  Atlantic Trust has a rich heritage of community involvement and takes great pride in reaching into the neighborhoods where we live and work to serve. Being a part of the volunteer family at the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) enriches our outreach by offering a helping hand to this well-deserving organization.     Our Houston office has nurtured an ongoing...

Wealth Strategies

Medicare Enrollment: Two Reasons to Reassess Your Plan Each Year

Dianne Savastano
October 28, 2015

  Once again, Medicare Open Enrollment season is upon us. And, even if you are not yet eligible for Medicare, it’s important to pay attention, because chances are, someone you care about is. They may need your help in managing this process.     With increased advertising for Part C Medicare Advantage Plans, Part D Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Supplemental Plans, the...


A Global View: Understanding the Significance of China's Slowdown

Gary Pzegeo, CFA
October 21, 2015

  Until recently, China was a country that defined the word “growth”: Its economic expansion during the last three decades was about 10% a year, while the majority of its population saw double-digit wage growth for the past decade—including the minimum wage, which doubled in many cities in less than five years, according to data cited by Bloomberg Business, Matthews Asia and The New York...

Wealth Strategies

Philanthropy and Family Values

Melissa Donohue
October 15, 2015

  Family values: There is almost nothing more important to share across the generations. But, increasingly, busy families are finding that setting aside even a little time for that valuable kind of communication and connection is becoming more challenging across the generations.     For example, younger family members are facing mounting pressures with school work,...

Wealth Strategies

10 Financial Milestones You Should Start Preparing For In Your 20s

Mary Beth Storjohann
October 14, 2015

Being in your 20s and 30s means experiencing many life milestones—and watching your peers go through the same. With all the exciting, new and different things happening to you and your friends, it’s easy to get swept up and not consider the financial impacts of setting and achieving major goals. To prepare yourself and your budget, think about these top 10 financial goals for Gen Y and what...

Wealth Strategies

Lifetime Gift Planning: A New Way to Think About Wealth Transfer

Scott Thompson
September 30, 2015

  Most people recognize that an estate plan is about providing for those they love and doing so in a positive and empowering way. “I want to take care of the generations following me,” for instance, is a common sentiment. But if your estate plan was created, say, a decade ago, your plan might have called for using the estate exclusion amount as quickly as possible while also seeking to...

Women's CIRCLE

How to Gain Confidence in Investing—in Any Market

Melissa Donohue
September 17, 2015

  The stock market has been frighteningly volatile in recent weeks. On August 24, the Dow fell 1000 points, and it has experienced 400-point swings in the days since then. Some call these “all or nothing” days, with volatility at levels not seen since 2009. Fears of an economic slowdown in China and that the Fed may finally be raising rates hit the market hard.     This kind...

Wealth Strategies

Supporting Education for the Next Generation

Art Graper, CFP®
September 16, 2015

  With school back in session, many parents are reminded of the considerable costs associated with securing a quality education for their children and grandchildren. As these parents look further into the future, they know projected college costs will be even higher for those yet-to-be-born children and grandchildren.     The good news is that there are many ways to help fund...

Wealth Strategies

Estate Settlement: Setting the Process in Motion

Paulina Mejia
September 09, 2015

  Preparing for and saying goodbye to a family member can be emotionally wrenching. The process after death is equally fraught with its own challenges and complexities. Settling the estate is important—for you, if you’re the executor, and for your deceased family member. Doing everything the right way is not just important to the estate’s integrity, but is also a way to honor the loved...


Investing, When the Going Gets Tough

Melissa Donohue
September 02, 2015

  Last month, the S&P 500 fell over 5% which, according to, is the first time since 2011 that the broad market index has tumbled so low in one week. As typically happens when markets fall so precipitously, experts are struggling to explain what might be happening, and investors are scared.     At times like this, it may feel like investing comes at too high...


May You Live in Interesting Times

Dave Donabedian, CFA
August 25, 2015

  This somewhat ominous send-off phrase is often called—without any credible provenance—“the Chinese curse.” Whether it originated there or not, the words now apply to China itself. Given its status as the most populous country and second-largest economy, it figures that China’s interesting times would have more than a glancing impact on the rest of the world. Below we assess recent...


Who's on Your Money Team?

Mary Beth Storjohann
August 12, 2015

  When it comes to building wealth, it pays to have a money team. As Thomas Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door, found in his research, the best wealth accumulators usually assemble a team of advisors when making important financial decisions.     If you want to build and preserve your wealth, you need a money team, too. When you’re talking about something as...

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